Chaffee County Search and Rescue (CCSAR) has been in operation in one form or another since 1964. We serve at the request of the Sheriff’s Office who is legally in charge of all SAR operations in the county, and are on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.
The number of missions varies from year to year, but 40 active call-outs per year is not uncommon. That is a lot for a little county like ours. You know it is a great place to hunt, fish, snowmobile, ATV, mountain bike, climb, hike the Colorado Trail or many others, backpack, run rapids, and bag fourteeners. These recreational opportunities are accessed by a broad spectrum of enthusiasts; people of all ages including those who are ultra-athletes or out-of-shape visitors from sea level and everything in between. Plans for an awesome day in the backcountry don’t always turn out so well. Falls, accidents, avalanche, getting lost, and medical emergencies befall travelers in our county and it is CCSAR’s job to locate, access, stabilize and transport them back to more advanced care.
CCSAR participation is 100% volunteer. The organization raises funds(through grants, donations, and serving at special backcountry events) for training and some special equipment, but members donate their fuel and vehicle costs as well as personal backcountry gear and hours and hours and hours of time each year. Most members pay for some or all of their training and communication equipment. There is no county budget, nor a state line item,. Rescued parties are never charged a fee. Not a dime goes to salary, and we are all happy to serve.
Review from Guidestar